For Immediate Release
Krysta Curl, Krysta.Curl@seiu.org (202) 730-7624
SEIU President Mary Kay Henry: 'Immigrants Are Not for Profit'
SEIU Members, Leaders and NPA Leaders Rally against Corrections Corporation of America for Profiting off of Broken Immigration System
"All around this country, there are people - some of whom were born here and others who were not - who work hard to make sure they can feed, clothe and educate their children. All they want is to make a better life for their families, and their values are the values that built this country," said SEIU President Mary Kay Henry. "But today we have bottom-feeding employers like Corrections Corporation of America who have forgotten those values and instead have decided to reap huge profits at the expense of hardworking people."
"We're calling on CCA to stop profiting off of the broken system and join us in our fight to see that Congress passes smart immigration solutions that will eliminate the underground economy, lift wages for all workers, and help us build an economy that works for working families."
With 40 percent of their business coming from federal government immigrant detention contracts, CCA has lobbied hard to keep taxpayer dollars flowing into their coffers.
"CCA is one of the biggest winners of our broken immigration system, taking in billions of dollars in government contracts to detain immigrants and perpetuate today's failed status quo." said SEIU Immigration Campaign Director Javier Morillo. "The company recognizes that an enforcement-heavy immigration policy is good for their bottom line and has spent millions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions to anti-immigrant politicians who push for enforcement at the expense of real comprehensive immigration reform."
Now, with immigrants comprising the fastest growing segment of the federal prison population, CCA stands to lose their biggest cash cow if Congress enacts real comprehensive immigration reform.
"All across the country people are standing up to challenge anti-immigrant legislation in Arizona, and today we are standing up to anti-immigrant policies at the federal level," said Teresa Molina, a teacher and spokesperson for National People's Action. "Whether it's corporations benefiting from a broken immigration system or elected officials courting the immigrant vote but not delivering for immigrant voters, we are here to say enough is enough to greed and hate."
According to campaign finance documents, CCA and its employees have contributed $3.6 million in political contributions over the last 10 years to anti-immigrant and pro-enforcement politicians.
"Like Wall Street banks and so many other corporations who use their paid-for power and influence to maintain the failed status quo at the expense of working people, CCA must be held accountable," Henry concluded.
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With 2 million members in Canada, the United States and Puerto Rico, SEIU is the fastest-growing union in the Americas. Focused on uniting workers in healthcare, public services and property services, SEIU members are winning better wages, healthcare and more secure jobs for our communities, while uniting their strength with their counterparts around the world to help ensure that workers—not just corporations and CEOs—benefit from today's global economy.